HAMBURG, June 19 (Reuters) - Delighted Saudi Arabian soccer officials have awarded each player 100,000 riyals ($26,670) after the team's 2-2 draw against Tunisia at the World Cup - a prize they had initially promised only for a victory.
'They are appreciative of the way the team played,' said Saudi team spokesman Ibrahim Al Goba before their second Group H match against Ukraine on Monday. 'They're very pleased.'
Saudi newspapers reported that the Saudi football federation head the Prince Sultan had distributed the prize money after 'the positive draw against Tunisia' in Wednesday's match.
Saudi Arabia were thrashed 8-0 by Germany in their first match at the 2002 World Cup and were determined to eliminate the trauma of that crushing defeat at this year's World Cup.
The Saudi royal had promised the players up to 600,000 riyals each, including 100,000 for each victory in the group stage, if they reached the knockout phase.
Local newspapers said the incentives were the largest ever offered by the wealthy kingdom's government.
Some businessmen have also promised the team hundreds of thousands of riyals if they qualify for the second round.